By Saundra Young, CNN - Consumers need to check their refrigerators because some organic baby spinach is being recalled after random testing found possible salmonella contamination in a finished package of spinach, according to a recall alert published on the FDA website on Tuesday. The sample was taken at a distribution center in Terrel, Texas, by the Texas Department of Agriculture on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA has a cooperative agreement with states to conduct regular random testing of fruits and vegetables.
"They [Texas Department of Agriculture] shipped the three randomly selected samples to the Ohio Department of Agriculture labratory," Mike Jarvis, a spokesman with the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service said. "The lab in Ohio has confirmed that it's salmonella and now we're waiting for the characterization - what kind of salmonella it is."
The organic baby spinach came from Taylor Farms in Salinas, California. The grower initiated the cautionary move even though no illness has been linked to the recalled products which are sold under the names Private Selections and Marketside.
The specific products being recalled are: Private Selections Organic Baby Spinach 5 oz clamshell with a "best by" date of 5-25-12, which was distributed to stores in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Marketside Baby Spinach Organic 10 oz clamshell with the same "best by" date went to stores in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. All were distributed on May 9th and 10th.
According to the Taylor Farms press release on the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website the company is cooperating with the FDA and no other products are affected.
"Taylor Farms is working with FDA to ensure that any products that could be harmful to the public are removed from the marketplace," said FDA spokesperson Pat El-Hinnawy. "Consumers are urged not to buy or eat organic baby spinach from any of these labels... No illnesses have been associated to date with Taylor Farms products. She says, illnesses or adverse events related to use of these products should be emailed to the FDA at CAERS@fda.hhs.gov or by calling 240-402-2405."
Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause infection. Symptoms normally begin 12 to 72 hours after infection and typically last four to seven days. While most people recover without treatment, some experience diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. But in some cases, if not treated quickly, there can be serious complications and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 42,000 cases are reported each year in the U.S., but because many cases go unreported, it could actually be 29 times greater or more.
Efforts to reach Taylor Farm were unsuccessful, but the company voluntarily recalled spinach and various salad blends last October after random testing of packaged spinach found possible salmonella contamination.
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